Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and its cell wall components have been used as one of the alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters in the feed industry. Antibodies to cell wall mannan of this yeast (ASCA) have been traditionally used in the study of Crohn's disease (CD). We applied ASCA in relation to obesity. This study aims (i) to determine the concentration of ASCA (immunoglobulin A [IgA] and immunoglobulin G [IgG]) in obese compared with normal weight individuals and (ii) to determine if there is a correlation between ASCA concentrations, obesity indices and C-reactive protein. Forty obese individuals (body mass index [BMI] > 35 kg m(-2) ) and 18 healthy (BMI < 25 kg m(-2) ) volunteers participated in this case-control study. Binding activity of serum IgA and IgG to the cell wall mannan of S. cerevisiae was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. More than one-third of the obese individual (35%) showed elevated titres of ASCA compared with the control group (5%). This antibody was positively associated with weight (P = 0.01), BMI (P = 0.02) and waist circumference (P = 0.02), but not with C-reactive protein. It seems that ASCA are not only specific for CD but are also associated with obesity. S. cerevisiae or a related antigen may play a role in the matrix of this complex condition.
Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; antibodies to cell wall mannan of baker's yeast (ASCA); fungi; obesity.
© 2014 World Obesity.